Republicans Back At Their Dirty Tricks to Get the Green Party on the Ballot

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Three marked checkboxes on blackboard. Checklist template drawn with chalk. Choice, analisys, vote conceptual background, copy space, top view

Montana Republican groups are so desperate to get the Green Party on the ballot here in Montana that they’re once again relying on an out-of-state outfit to scam Montana voters into believing they are signing grassroots petitions to give the party ballot access.

If you run into some signature collectors in Helena, Bozeman, Missoula or other towns where they have been reported to be working, be sure to ask them who is funding the effort. It’s not Montanans; it’s the Washington D.C. based right-wing Club for Growth, who filed their form to form a committee for minor party qualification at the Commissioner of Political Practices Office on February 6.

You might be familiar with the Club for Growth. The right-wing front group that stands for the destruction of unions, gutted environmental regulations, and privatization of public education has been the single biggest funder of Matt Rosendale’s campaign for higher office and announced in July that it had already raised $250,000 for his 2020 House bid.

Their effort to qualify the Green Party is little more than a cynical ploy to maximize the value of their dark money operation: qualifying Green Party candidates who might siphon off one or two percent in close races almost certainly is more affordable than running expensive ads trying to convince people that Matt Rosendale is actually a rancher or that Steve Daines won’t give himself another massive tax cut.

Signing a petition to get the Greens on the ballot isn’t demonstrating support for more voices in our political system; it’s empowering Republicans who want to gain the system the same way they tried to do in 2018 before they got caught breaking signature gathering laws.

Back then, Republicans broke almost every campaign reporting regulation imaginable in their effort to elevate the Greens and went as far as nominating a Republican to run in one of the primaries.

This time, they’re sure to be more careful, so we must remain vigilant. Let your friends know not to sign off on these petitions, which not only undermine Montana elections but the efforts of real grassroots efforts in the state to collect signatures.

You don’t have to take my word for it that these efforts are dishonest. The Montana Green Party posted the following on their Facebook page today:

We have been receiving notice that there are people falsely collecting information on behalf of the Green Party. As of this moment, we are still in legal battle with a lawsuit against the state of MT, and in such a state are not collecting, nor have we hired or asked for volunteers to collect information this 2020cycle.

Keep in mind that for the last few years there are individuals who seek nothing more than to smear our name and mission by using very rude and impractical methods, in these cases impersonation to degrade our cause. This is an ongoing effort led by plants from the mainstream parties who wish for nothing more than to end any resistance to the two party corporate duopoly that dares toe the line.

Any individual acting in rude or suspicious behavior claiming to be collecting information on our behalf is not affiliated with our name or mission. Please report to us any information or incidents that occur.

Friends don’t let friends sign sham petitions for the Green Party. Let’s not let Matt Rosendale’s friends from the D.C. swamp interfere in yet another Montana election.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

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About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba has been writing about Montana politics since 2005 and teaching high school English since 2000. He's a former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.
His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.
In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

4 Comments

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  • Here’s another idea for your sleuthing efforts: Reliable sources close to have confirmed that Gianforte is directing money to at least one PAC that is supporting Whitney Williams. Clearly he knows she’s the weaker candidate in the general election.

  • Yup there is a strange woman downtown in the 400 block in Helena. collecting today. I signed and I’m going down tomorrow to unsigned….sad that no one is to be trusted.

  • MT already has a third party. Libertarian. So why push for the Green Party? For the ignorant Democrats who might vote for Green candidates thinking they were champion for the environmental movement and climate control?

  • Another operative at the last chance P O today. I was going to get them in video but this guy looked formidable so I just chatted him up while I signed my bogus name and address. He said he worked for, was a member of and got a check from the Green Party. I complained inside the post office and they gave me this number to call the main office. The person answering told me it was illegal to collect signatures on Fed property and said the world send someone down. Phone is 443-3287, fraud chaps me!

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